Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dolores Catherino - Hope In Turbulence


Ever eager to have musical experiences I've never had before, I found Dolores Catherino's use of greatly expanded chromaticism by using up to at least 106 notes per octave.   The feeling of being constantly off balance but sustained is interesting.  At least it is to me.

Of the people making music with these kinds of instruments, so far she's the one I've heard making actual music with them.  Mostly they're just geeks getting geeky, she's a real musician.
Another heavy work day, last one for a while, I hope.  

I'm beat.  Between last year this time and now, geesh, it catches up with you. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Stupid Mail

Oh, Skeptic Tank's still sore because the last time he came here I kicked his ass around as shown in that link to that post the other day.  He's chicken and figures trash talk and a hilarious pose of intimidation is either bothersome or inhibiting.  Actually, I think my remaining hens are both smarter and braver than he is.  I made fun of his handle and it got to him to the extent he changed it. 

As I said yesterday, everything said about me at Duncan Black's Geritol and Vodka cocktail set is a lie.   It's not as if they ever bother to read things they characterize, they don't go in for even a modest level of complexity or work.   The good news is that they will never do much of anything but grouse and reminisce over the 60s and 70s, brag about what they had for lunch, brag about purchases or the recycled tapes of their garage band because if they tried to do more than that, it wouldn't be helpful.  

Update 2:  So, I'm thinking either he never read The Brothers Karamazov or he did and didn't get the glaring themes of the book.  Dostoevsky was right that the pose of intellectual skepticism leads to destructive nihilism and that with it comes all manner of evil doing, including that of the Trump regime.  I can't imagine missing that point as it's one of the central themes and part of the plot.  As is the conclusion of atheism that if there is no God then everything is allowable.  I've pointed that out here a number of times, without a conception of mutually held moral obligations then the only limits on the desire to do evil of all kinds are a. a weak position from which the would be evil doer figures they can do it or b. they figure they won't be allowed to get away with it, substituting human consequences for God imposed consequences.  And they might be able to escape from human ones.  Stalin was one of the great examples of that.  

Thoughts On Kirjsten Nielsen And Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump And The Media Who Brought Us To This

The key to understanding the ability of people like Jeff Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Kirjsten Nielsen. their ICE ICE agents to do evil thing to powerless, endangered children and their parents and guardians is to understand that for them it's all a matter of what's theirs and what isn't theirs.  What is theirs or what they can get to be theirs matters to them, what isn't theirs doesn't fall within their realm of moral concern.  That is if the term "moral" really belongs anywhere in such a mindset because when all you care about are your things, and in such a mindset people and animals are things too,  even love can turn into an occasion for evil, a tool of evil.

That indifference to people outside of the narrow circle of their concern is typical of those who spend their lives avariciously accumulating wealth at the expense of other people, there is absolutely no shock that so many of them would be found in the party of oligarchs and plutocrats.

We're supposed to be impressed and our support swayed with the assertion that these functionaries of American fascism feel for the members of their families, the emphasis being on the possessive adjective, "their".   But what might be a normal, natural desire for ones loved ones to be out of danger, to not be in pain, to be happy, when it becomes a frame of thinking that views people outside of that realm of concern as either potential commodities to be used or deserving no concern and may be disposed of as desired, "the family" a circle of friends and acquaintances and business partners turns into a unit of evil.   While the selfish person is the basic unit of American fascism (and, really all evil considered politically and economically) "the family" when it is the family of the person practicing that way of thinking is a collective of evil into which children are born, are reared in that way of thinking and from which they either break or they become the propagation of that kind of evil in the future.  Most, maybe all families of wealth and those who aspire to it, seriously, have something of traditional organized crime within them.

In the case of some of the racists in the aspiring fascist regime of Donald Trump those outside of the group of concern to them and their supporters, some ill-defined group of white people, use can be made of those outsiders to prey on the racism of so many white people.  The American media, other than the briefest of periods in the late 1960s and early 1970s,* has explicitly fed that racism, though at times presenting it as regional resentment and envy.   The few and brief positive appearances of people of color, Black People, Latinos, People belonging to Indigenous nationalities, Asians in the media have been more than swamped by the racism flowing out of TVs and movie screens, hate-talk radio and to some extent even pop music.  The promotion of evil characters of color has been so pervasive in the commercial media that it was the staple of what were supposed to be some kind of step forward, in blackspoitation movies**, in gangsta crap, and other such self-consuming mentalities promoted to Black People.  I would certainly include boxing and football, in which mostly people of color do violence to each other for the entertainment of largely white audiences for the enrichment of mostly white owners.  Those are our gladiatorial games in this re-run of the decadence of old Rome.

That the old, money-focused Republican Party went for the evil of Nixon's strategy of harnessing the racist vote is, as well a part of their indifference to people.  Nixon was certainly a racist but that wasn't his primary focus, he saw opportunity into turning what would never be his, in his case the votes of Black People, into an opportunity to harvest the votes of racists.  But the power that the oligarchs sought to harness and exploit has come to dominate Republican politics as they have found that between the fact their policies are unpopular and they have a propensity to cause economic collapses, they have become dependent on racism and anti-Latino hatred.  In the form of the media-product Trump, it defeated the old-line Republicans decisively and got put into the presidency through the mechanisms that the slave-owner "founders" put into place for just that purpose.

In looking at the cold, cruel, upper-class model face of Kirjsten Nielsen I was certain she was chosen for that position to be the pretty face on some of our ugliest, most evil policies.  It's plain from what she's said and more so what she's done that behind the blonde magazine cover-girl facade, she is as ugly as Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions.  That's the kind of thinking these people have, cover up the ugly things they do with images and people will focus on the images while they get on with doing evil.  It's the same reason that they put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court to further the cause of white supremacy, the same reason there is a full-employment policy in the American media for the few black faces that they can get to spout Republican-fascism.   I'm certain for all of those willing to do that it comes down to the same thing, "what's in it for me", "what's in it for the small circle of those I care about". 

It is all about the othering of others, turning other people into things we don't need to care about - other people and their pets, don't forget such people care more about their pets than they do "other" children.  Othering is the basis on which people who can do the kind of evil we're seeing done to these children and their parents.   It's the kind of thinking that allows Nielsen and the FOX fascists and the Trump-Nazis to pretend that these children aren't the children of the parents they cry for when they are stolen by the American government and put into concentration camps.  They don't feel that they even owe it to them to tell that truth about them. 

* If in the early 1970s anyone would predict that the collective "American mind" fed on a diet of TV, movies and radio on ACLU, "civil libertarian" free speech would throw up the collection of increasingly hideous and fascistic Republican governments, interspersed with weakened, sometimes voluntarily weakened center-right Democrats would probably have been discounted as an idiot.  From Maine or not.   I can tell you one person I know who predicted it would happen in pretty much the way it has, a carpenter and artist I know from Maine who was making exactly that prediction as he witnessed what pop culture, TV and the movies was presenting starting just about the time George Lucas and Steve Spielberg were getting going.  From the Starwars movies on he pointed out how the popular films were going that way, as were the TV shows that sentimentalized the military and increasingly presented scary people of color.  When Garbage Pail Kids cards were a fad he pointed out that it was a means of setting up the kinds of exclusionary objectification of people and devaluing them on the basis of class and fashion.   I'd like to know how many of the idiot, starry-eyed civil libertarians who were claiming that all was needed was more "more speech" got their predictions of the future right.  I don't know of any of that period who came close.

Though I don't know of a single champion of the ACLU-"civil liberties" industry who thought to care more about the fact that they were enabling racists and fascists and, yes, Nazis who would hurt other people as long as their careers were enhanced and I'm sure most of them, especially those actually in the employ or patronage of the media did all right for themselves and their families.

**  I'm sure someone will raise the supposed satirical intent of many of those movies but if there is one thing I've learned about "satire" it is that for every person who will get that point, there are many more who will not get that point and take it seriously.  Satire was, as Dorothy Parker pointed out, one of the hardest of comic forms to pull off, she scoffed at the alleged masters of it in her time, pointing out they were merely topical gag men.  Anyone who has something to say would be a lot safer in just coming out and saying it.

Note:  The abysmal record of Barack Obama on the same issues needs to be addressed, too.  I think Obama shares a lot more of the mindset I wrote about than his supporters and those who romantically look at his time in office would care to admit.   I think it is generally typical of people in the prep to Ivy league to well paid professions track, whether they be nominally conservative or what gets called liberal, whether Democrats or Republicans, with some exceptions.  But not as many exceptions as people pretend. 

The role that Obama played in making me see that much of American liberalism was hardly liberal can't be overemphasized.  Nor can his role in making me realize that the prep-> Ivy and may as well be Ivy system product has way, way too much of a role in ruling the United States.  Though such people can come from anywhere, you will find more of the ones with power come from that system of ruling class formation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Need To Put My Feet Up, Eleven Lessons, In One Day!

I've been busy with work, today.  I'll post something tomorrow.   

Until then, remember, literally everything about what has been said here said at the Eschaton troll farm is a lie of Dershowitzian character

Update:  No, if he'd been one of my students I'd have told him he was more suited for peddling timeshares over the phone.  If not phony internet security.  Lying is his only talent. 

Update 2:  I said it was his only talent not that he was particularly good at it.  Though it suffices so he can tell the Eschatots what they want to hear.  

A con man's marks are his most important assets. Look at how someone as stupid as Trump lived off of his. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Footnote On The Depravity of Republican-fascists

I don't believe in the validity of polling, at all.  I do believe that Republicans are depraved and a good number of them are actual fascists if not Nazis.   And now, apparently, some are commie lovers.  And not just any commie, one of the worst of the worst, right down there with Stalin and Hoxha and Ceausescu. 

More Republicans view North Korean leader Kim Jong Un favorably than do House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to a poll released Monday.

The Ipsos survey conducted for the Daily Beast found that among Republicans, 19 percent indicated they hold a favorable opinion of Kim, while 17 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Pelosi.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said they held an unfavorable opinion of Kim, while 72 percent said they had an unfavorable view of Pelosi.

“On a daily basis, President Trump praises this dictator and thug so it only makes sense that his party is following his lead like lemmings over a cliff," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote in an email to The Hill responding to the poll findings.

Trump has done that, exposed the utter anti-democratic and anti-American content of Republican-fascism.

Hate Mail - The Entire Field of Psychology Is Pretty Well Summed Up In The Far Too Little Known Stanford Prison Experiment Scandal

I can't remember if it was when I realized cable TV sucked so I dropped it or if I took the great change to HD TV to get rid of the boob tube altogether, one of my brothers-in-law was horrified.  He gave a list of "great things" on TV that I'd be missing.  As he listed things and I said I didn't have any interest in it, his list shortened.  In the end I told him that if he threw a pail of quarters into a cesspool I wouldn't go swimming in it to find them.   I'd like a show of hands, who would do that?  And there are a lot fewer "good shows" on TV than there are quarters in a pail.

You should soak your head so as to cool off and read this article recently published at Vox about one of the most famous and widely believed experiments in the post-war history of psychology, you know, the period when it was supposed to have left the shoddy pre-war practices behind it.  Remember, it's only one of many such experiments that have been debunked after it entered into "science" and from there into the received common wisdom of the college educated and the watchers of TV and movies.

The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous and compelling psychological studies of all time, told us a tantalizingly simple story about human nature.

The study took paid participants and assigned them to be “inmates” or “guards” in a mock prison at Stanford University. Soon after the experiment began, the “guards” began mistreating the “prisoners,” implying evil is brought out by circumstance. The authors, in their conclusions, suggested innocent people, thrown into a situation where they have power over others, will begin to abuse that power. And people who are put into a situation where they are powerless will be driven to submission, even madness.

The Stanford Prison Experiment has been included in many, many introductory psychology textbooks and is often cited uncritically. It’s the subject of movies, documentaries, books, television shows, and congressional testimony.

But its findings were wrong. Very wrong. And not just due to its questionable ethics or lack of concrete data — but because of deceit.

IN SCIENCE, TOO OFTEN, THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF AN IDEA BECOMES THE LASTING ONE.

A new exposé published by Medium based on previously unpublished recordings of Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford psychologist who ran the study, and interviews with his participants, offers convincing evidence that the guards in the experiment were coached to be cruel. It also shows that the experiment’s most memorable moment — of a prisoner descending into a screaming fit, proclaiming, “I’m burning up inside!” — was the result of the prisoner acting. “I took it as a kind of an improv exercise,” one of the guards told reporter Ben Blum. “I believed that I was doing what the researchers wanted me to do.

Tell me, for a start, how any psychology experiment can prevent subjects from doing exactly what Blum admitted he was doing, guessing what the researchers wanted him to do and doing that?   Or trying to guess what the researchers wanted and not doing it on purpose or otherwise messing with them?   Unless the subjects admit to doing that, what they did will be presented as if it was some kind of natural phenomenon representing events and thinking "in the wild" as it were.  As it is, any psychological experiment is entirely dependent on the self-reporting of subject who may be mistaken as to what happened, may lie about what happened, might not be able to admit their calculated attempts to please or mess with the researchers, etc.

Of course there is no way for anyone conducting such an experiment to prevent that or other, similar faulty aspects of psychological experimentation from happening and, as in this, what should be come an infamous example of pseudo-scientific fraud, such junk research will be reviewed by others with faculty positions in the pseudo-science, reported in their pseudo-scientific journals and will become official science, no matter what crap it is that they publish.  I would bet that a comprehensive review of psychological experimentation would show that there are ideological and cultural predispositions that are reinforced by the junk science. 

And, if you read the article in full, that was only one aspect of the total trashing of the alleged standards that comprise the scientific method in this very famous, very often cited experiment that the students of intro-psy courses put into the popular culture through putting its conclusions into their TV and movie scripts, their play scripts and into trashy novels.  Antd, again, I believe there is probably an ideological predisposition that was being pushed by those who conducted the experiments, either on the basis of their own ideological orientation or by reinforcing what they knew reviewers would want to hear BECAUSE IT FIT WITH PREVIOUS PUBLISHED PSYCHOLOGY, OR BECAUSE THEY SHARED THAT IDEOLOGICAL DISPOSITION.

The Zimbardo prison experiment is not the only classic study that has been recently scrutinized, reevaluated, or outright exposed as a fraud. Recently, science journalist Gina Perry found that the infamous “Robbers Cave“ experiment in the 1950s — in which young boys at summer camp were essentially manipulated into joining warring factions — was a do-over from a failed previous version of an experiment, which the scientists never mentioned in an academic paper. That’s a glaring omission. It’s wrong to throw out data that refutes your hypothesis and only publicize data that supports it.

Perry has also revealed inconsistencies in another major early work in psychology: the Milgram electroshock test, in which participants were told by an authority figure to deliver seemingly lethal doses of electricity to an unseen hapless soul. Her investigations show some evidence of researchers going off the study script and possibly coercing participants to deliver the desired results. (Somewhat ironically, the new revelations about the prison experiment also show the power an authority figure — in this case Zimbardo himself and his “warden” — has in manipulating others to be cruel.)

Psychology is and from the beginning was a pseudo-science because it proposed to study phenomena that couldn't be directly observed, defined adequately to determine of the phenomena allegedly reported were, actually, representative of repeated events or even if they actually existed anywhere but in the minds of the researchers.  It was reading William James early psychological writing that convinced me that a combination of the authority and influence of those who first proposed psychology was as proper scientific study and their desire for their proposed study to have the prestige and power of science that led universities, other authoritative bodies, governments and, worst of all, courts to pretend that what  they were doing was science when everything about it demonstrated that it was not science and there was no prospect for such a study to be able to meet the exigencies required to be science. 

At this point, there is no reason for anyone to take much of anything in psychology or the other behavioral and social studies called "science" as reliable because largely it isn't.  If there can be some salvage work done to find something reliable in the approximately hundred forty years of stuff published, I don't know.  It would be like finding quarters in a cesspool to find them.   It is an appalling thing that so many judges rely on the crap that comes out of psychologists to destroy or warp the lives of so many people. 

Pure Insanity Caused By Fashion And The Simple Faith Of Far Too Many Of Us

In looking at the NPR website and its story about the potential dangers or promise of commercial, at-home alleged genetic testing kits, their example of a woman who bought one to see if she were at risk from a genetically inherited predisposition for breast cancer, I was a little surprised to see this picture of her.



Look at her left arm.  Covered with tattoos.  I wonder if it ever occurred to her as she had who knows what dye under her skin in an attempt to be groovy that something the artiste injected into her might, possibly be carcinogenic. 

The story makes me wonder about the faith people put in people they pay for things, the faith that a commercial company would be selling accurate and well-understood genetic testing, well done, and the faith that so many people put in tattoo artistes to not be injecting them with potential poisons and the clearly inadequate, at times criminally irresponsible safety-testing industry and the corrupted government agencies that permit ill-tested things to be injected into us, fed to us, to enter into us and our environment.  Not to mention the blatantly corrupt state governments that permit a lot of that under our idiotic federal system.

You would think that someone scared enough of their own genes to spend two-hundred bucks on a genetic test of dubious worth would have at least given as much thought to getting tattooed as that.  I don't know what you do about it once it's been done.  Even the removal of it would, I believe, leave the chemicals in your body.  I expect any day now we'll get reports on cancer caused by people getting large tats, which I am told are called "sleeves". 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Christmas Crap In June

Helping my sister, who was a school teacher for more than 40 years move, volunteering to clean out some of her place, I've got to ask, has anyone in history ever gotten something they ever wanted or used from a Secret Santa?   The number of entirely unused scented candles I threw away would probably fuel a small community for a few days.  A weird number of which have cooky and candy themed scents (blech).  Did they think she's 8?   Then there were the Christmas Themed hand towels, the decorations that were never used (lots of that crap is going to some charity thrift shop come November).  It's revolting.

And then there's the everyday teacher-trash that accumulates, useless notes of useless workshops, junk bought for her classroom and never used.  Free junk she picked up intending to make use of it but which never was used.  Rocks.  Boxes and boxes of rocks from when she taught science.   Other than the rocks that are going to join up with the native ones, it's all going to get recycled or sent to a thrift store.   Has there ever been a grade school teacher who isn't a hoarder of such junk?

I'm going to start unloading my hoard of junk because I don't want any of them writing a blog post about having to clean out my place when I kick the bucket.  But I don't have any of that junk, I got rid of most of that kind of stuff when I moved into a very small house.

I've still got three other school teachers in my family to go.

Susan Collins Does Her Usual Dance To Distract From Her Complicity

Is there anyone in Washington DC who is a bigger hypocrite and liar than Trump?  Sarah Huckabee Sanders?   Well, I think that Maine's "moderate" Republican Senator Susan Collins has got them topped in at least the hypocrisy angle.  This morning the piece of shit in a taylored suit, one of the Republican Senators who presented Jeff Sessions for the nomination to Attorney General,* who lied about his obvious and life-long history of racism and white supremacy to do that announced that she's ever so opposed to Jeff Sessions policy of stealing children from their parents and sending them to concentration camps, some of them sounding like the ones that the infamous Joe Arpio got into trouble for sending adults to, did what she always does when Republican depravity creates a potential problem for her. 

Collins says she opposes family separations at border, but calls Democratic bill to stop them too broad

The Republican senator came out against the Trump policy Sunday morning.

I can bet that she will do what she always does, make a show of regretting, of disapproving, a pantomime act of opposing this appalling criminal act but, in the end, Republicans know she'll find some way to help continue it unless her vote on the policy won't matter.  If Republicans can sustain this depravity, then, and only then, might she make the useless gesture of voting to end it.  

She is as disgusting as any member of the Trump criminal regime. 

* Read this from her statement in support of Sessions as AG.  

As a Senator, Jeff Sessions has worked across the aisle to lead important legislative reforms. He has worked with Senator Dick Durbin to pass the Fair Sentencing Act, a law that addressed the unfair racial disparity in crack cocaine sentencing. He worked with Senator Ted Kennedy to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act and with Senator Chris Coons on the Reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. 

And now she is going to find any way she can to make sure that now his fat, white ass is in as AG that he'll be able to make every one of those as dead a letter of the law as he possibly can and no one who has any honesty can claim that it is at all surprising. 

Hate Mail - It Doesn't Matter How Simple The Questions Are If You Can't Answer Them The Whole Cathedral of Atheist Faith Falls

You don't seem to understand how proving something works.  Since you're the one demanding proof, that would seem to be rather a problem for your position.  Any failure to answer questions like the ones I posed is a failure for the theory of "brain-only" and unless they can answer those, it is a definitive failure and an excellent reason to disbelieve the claims no matter what science credentials those pushing the atheist-faith holding hold.

An emotional attachment to atheism and a hatred and hostility to God and religion is what I have concluded is the real issue, the various intellectual supports that they come up with, up to and including multiverse conjecture and the power atheist cosmologists, physicists, etc. give themselves and, in the hardest cases such as pretty much the inventor of the modern version of that,  Hughes Everett, everyone to create universes out of nothing and gas on academically and popularly about their imagined universes even more elaborately than some Hindus and Buddhists who did kind of the same thing did.  Only they pretend it's science that they're doing since their descriptions are in equations instead of prose.

And, in the mean time, while those scientists are creating their mind-forged universes, their colleagues in inserting atheist ideology into the biological sciences have the task of reducing minds into nothing but chemical reactions and the electrical activity that come with those, the basis of randomly present conditions within brains without any possibility of those chemical reactions having any transcendent properties such as truth.

That all of the science they pretend they're doing and insisting that everyone believe is entirely dependent on the reality of that last thing, the transcendent property of truth, they've cut the legs out from under everything they've been doing.  The modern ideology of atheist-materialist-scientism is a very fancy delusion,  sold by and held through the hegemony that ideologically motivated atheists have in science and other academic fields but it is as decadent in its choice of not admitting to what they're doing and why they're doing it.  If one in a hundred-thousand or more of the people who believe it believe in it on any basis more sound than that "this I know because scientists tell me so," I'd need to see proof of that. That they have to knock out the underpinnings of the science they're pretending to do while they do it is secondary to their real motivation, an ideological attack on religion and God.

If you can't get past those questions I first posed in 2015 about how the brain knows how to make the structure to be an accurate or true idea about any aspect of external reality before the idea to cause it to begin to make the structure, how to make the right structure to be an accurate or true idea, how to know if it's made the right and not the wrong structure (any such wrong structure then being the ONLY representation of the idea physically present in the brain to inform any "truth testing" of the idea) and to judge if it has done the right thing, THE ENTIRE THEORY OF IDEAS BEING STRUCTURES THE BRAIN BUILDS FAILS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T PASS THE TEST OF EMPIRICISM, THE VERY BASIS ON WHICH SCIENCE WAS BUILT.  Any proposed solution to that must match the human experience of thinking new ideas that the person having them never held before, at the speed in which we have those ideas. 

Science also has the limit that what it holds must meet the test of logical soundness, anything, even anything that is real but which can't pass the test of logical soundness can't be held to be capable of being treated with science.  That's also something that atheist scientists want to junk, both in stuff like multiverse cosmology and in those pseudo-sciences that pretend to treat the mind, the minds of animals, the combination of those in societies and communities and cultures.  Much if not most of that pretense has been motivated by atheists wanting to extend science beyond where it can go and still be science.  If you want a good example of that, you can look at the history of psychology which is little but building imaginary structures only to have them fall down into little if not nothing.  Yet university faculties have not called bull-shit to the pretense that what they do is science.   Changing the name of that effort into neuro-science or cognitive-science doesn't really change the fact that their methods are not scientific, their peer review is self-interested and putridly dishonest and their history is what should be a huge scandal.   I don't think it's any wonder that Jordan Peterson is from the world of big-time university psychology, his net-based angry, white-boy cult is just another, if perhaps the biggest, psychotheraputic cult in a continual history of those arising from people duped by that pseudo-science.  That's as true of those who claim to be religious* as those who are atheists.

None of which gets past those problems in those questions listed above.  If you can't get past those, you fail and so does the alleged science of "brain only".

* Peterson is a huckster.   Any pretense of religiosity he has is part of his sales pitch, I see no religious content in his cult.  His cult is based on any number of widely popular beliefs, such as the ubiquitous faith in natural selection and neo-eugenics, what most people call "evolutionary psychology".

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Marie Ndiaye - Hilda




Hilda is French-Senegalese novelist Marie Ndiaye's first drama, dramatised for radio by Sarah Woods. It examines modern domestic day slavery through a wealthy woman, Mrs Lemarchaud who becomes obsessed with the new nanny she employs. There's a creepy , almost unlikely edge to this piece, reminiscent of the films of David Lynch, but with absurdity, ideas of control and class are brought into greater relief.

Mrs. Lemarchand the mistress of the house , develops a relationship with Hilda's husband, first to glean more information about Hilda and her life, and , then to exert her increasingly irrational power over both of them Mrs. Lemarchand's control over Frank is constant, even when he starts to fight back . Money and class power through.


It's unsettling highlighting the ramifications of class, power and control. Hilda is a stripped-down 3 hander, but it is full of ideas. It may be chilling and on the edge of the absurd, but there in lies its power.

Mrs Lemarchand Siân Phillips
Franck Nick Haverson
Corinne Rachel Austin
Producer Susan Roberts
Author Marie NDiaye

Adaptor Sarah Woods

It's been a while since I'd heard anything from Siân Phillips.   Guess that's what happens when you stop watching PBS.
SS

Image result for ss arresting jewish boy

ICE ICE

Image result for ICE arresting children


Friday, June 15, 2018

Nope, You Can't Blame Leviticus For The Child Concentration Camps That The Trump Regime Has Started

I ran across a comment a little while ago that, though it has its heart in the right place gets its facts just about entirely wrong.   The comment is:

The moron [Trump] and accomplices [Sessions, Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly (whose idea it seems to have been), etc.] seem to have dropped the Beatitudes from their 'bible', making Leviticus great again.

Well, Leviticus does contain some harsh laws, some of them meant for the priestly class that have been extended to anyone and some which have been entirely misrepresented for centuries.   But it doesn't say what the comment claims it did in regard to Trump's putting children into horrific, cold concentration camps.  It says:

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.  The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus: 33-34

Leviticus also says:

You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God. 
24:22

and:

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
19: 9-10

In the regulations in The Law saying to leave crops in the field for the poor and alien to glean, what farmers were required to leave were the major cash crops, grain, olives for oil and grapes for wine.  It wasn't a small thing they were told to share with the poor.  It wasn't a tithe of mint and cumin.  Nothing could be farther from the modern Western industrial-capitalist model of thought or behavior.

There are a large number of Old Testament texts commanding that the alien, the stranger, the sojourner, all be treated with justice.  The commands are as strong as the many other commands in Leviticus and the rest of the Old Testament to treat mercifully and kindly and, most of all, justly with widows and orphans.  Children without parents with them, in other words. 

No, everything about this Trump-fascist deliberate cruelty overseen by the repulsive Sessions and Nielsen their ICE ICE "defense eschalon" is forbidden in the strongest terms in Leviticus, what it is is pure American racism and the natural modern Republican love of cruelty to poor, dark-skinned, powerless people.  Though there are Mammonists posing as Christians who have websites to try to deny that's what the Bible says, as it also points out and gives examples of,  Satan will distort scripture for evil purposes. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

When You Claim To Know The Reality of Everything You're Stuck With Making Everything Fit Into Your Claims

This final triumph of the monistic conception of nature . . .  
Ernst Haeckel

It's not a hard argument, there's nothing complex about it but it's obviously a harder argument than your typical college-credentialed atheist is able to deal with.  It's got several parts that you've got to know but they're not hard.  I mean, materialist-atheists came up with them so they can't be that hard.

1. Materialism, the theoretical basis of most atheism and all of scientism is a radically monist ideology.

  It claims that everything that is real is material and that nothing which is not material exists.

As science has, several times, shown that the old-fashioned articulations of materialism are basically wrong about the nature of the "material" universe, the ideology has been tweaked and renamed, things like "physicalism (which stupidly equates scientific laws created within human minds with the stuff of the physical universe rather than human explanations of what happens with that stuff) and the only somewhat less naive "naturalism" which is pretty much the same thing as "physicalism" but omits the mention of its reliance on human-created any of science.   It's been my experience that second-rate philosophers with a slight knowledge of science go for the "physicalist" label and scientists with little to no knowledge of philosophy but some of science prefer the "naturalist" brand.

The thing to remember is that no claim made by materialists can violate the strictly monistic claim that materialism is based in or their whole framing of reality is destroyed.

The converse of that is that they must deny or ignore the reality of anything which is not explainable in terms of matter-energy, space-time, even if it requires them to create, out of nothing but their own words, an infinity of universes for which there is no explanation and no empirical evidence.

Empiricism (see the definition below)  is an even more basic foundation of materialism, though, as with their totally unevidenced and all-too-human creation of multiverses,* they have to violate those foundations continually.

2. Since there is the reliance on both claims of empiricism and their monist materialism and, as my questions asked below prove, those can't be reconciled, their entire framing has to fail.  Atheist-materialists can't account for even the most basic experiences of our experienced reality on a materialistic basis.  Every single claim in that regard that doesn't answer those questions I asked has to fail the test of empirical knowledge and they can't do it. 

For our brains to construct their theorized structures to "be" ideas without the information that is the idea being already present in the brain to instruct it (or DNA or "neural circuits") to make the structure to be that idea would require that those physical structures in our heads would have to continually perform magic and it would have to work better than either Dumbledore or Voldemort or Snape or McGonagall managed to make magic happen in the Harry Potter books.   By the time you'd eaten breakfast your brain would have performed magic thousands of times.  You wouldn't be able to navigate to the bathroom or kitchen without that happening.  Every slight perception within and outside of your body to do that, every variation in it would have to be accounted for in structures inside your head.  Some scientist coming up with a picture of a model for how that happens that can't fit into virtual simultaneity and continuity of our everyday experience is promoting a failed model.

Materialist-atheist-scientism is an ideology that can only be true if it is false, though that argument requires a few more steps dealing with the inevitable debunking of human minds, which, as mentioned, is one of the more vigorously pursused goals of materialist-atheist-scientists including many of the biggest names in it such as Francis Crick.  And with that any reason to believe in any of the work of such scientists evaporates.  And with it the very category of truth as opposed to error or falsity evaporates into a banal and meaningless chemical reaction like water evaporating or iron oxidizing.  Materialism is the one ideology that can only be true if it is false because it corrodes the meaning of the idea of truth.

If you want to get a chuckle, you can read a couple of very conceited atheists trying to come up with something - or, more typically, trying to intimidate and trash talk their way out of coming up with something - in this one time some of them took up my challenge.  It's pretty hilarious to see how pathetically unable they were to get to the first step.  Modern atheism is as profoundly anti-intellectual as modern religious fundamentalism

*  If our species manages to survive long enough to have this period of science turn into ancient history, I predict that they will find it hillarious that atheists, in order to debunk the idea that an all-powerful God created this one universe, they granted the license to atheist cosmologists, even those as flaky as Hugh Everett to invent jillions and jillions and jillions of universes.  And not only him but every one of us, unintentionally as we do literally everything we do.  They so hate the idea that the ultimate intelligence designed the universe that they gave us the power to create universes without any thought going into it, at all.

It is remarkable that even one of their number, one of the current big heroes of atheism has said that one of the consequences of the multiverse fashion is that if you really believe it, it totally destroys the ability of physics to come to any kind of certain or "objective" knowledge about even what is taken as known physics, or, in fact anything

Inflation is naturally chaotic. Bubbles form in the expanding universe, each developing into a big or small bang, perhaps each with different values for what we usually call the constants of nature. The inhabitants (if any) of one bubble cannot observe other bubbles, so to them their bubble appears as the whole universe. The whole assembly of all these universes has come to be called the “multiverse.”

These bubbles may realize all the different solutions of the equations of string theory. If this is true, then the hope of finding a rational explanation for the precise values of quark masses and other constants of the standard model that we observe in our big bang is doomed, for their values would be an accident of the particular part of the multiverse in which we live. We would have to content ourselves with a crude anthropic explanation for some aspects of the universe we see: any beings like ourselves that are capable of studying the universe must be in a part of the universe in which the constants of nature allow the evolution of life and intelligence. Man may indeed be the measure of all things, though not quite in the sense intended by Protagoras.

Steven Weinberg:  Physics: What We Do and Don’t Know

I will remind you, though, that as physicists and cosmologists have been confronted by the increasing evidence that their highest of high science is inescapably caught up in the vissisitudes of the human minds that do science, their fellow atheists are debunking the significance of human minds that do all of science into nothing of any significance.

Anyone who suspects that materialist-atheist-scientism, now that it has reached this pinnacle of achievement, has turned out to be everything from basically wrong to of proven degeneracy would have much more than a leg to stand on.

If You Insist I'll Pose Those Questions Again - The Ultimate Decadence Of Atheist-Materialist-Scientism

Empirical

1 : originating in or based on observation or experience empirical data

2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory an empirical basis for the theory

3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment empirical laws
Merriam Webster

Someone has apparently posted a link to the year long challenge to atheist-materialists I posted three years ago daring them to come up with the most basic explanation of how the popular "brain-only" model of our minds could possibly work.  The challenge was a short series of questions based on a popular atheist premise.

If, as materialists claim, our minds, our thoughts our ideas are the epiphenomena of  physical structures built by our brains and chemical and/or electrical action within those structures:

1.  How, even before such structures existed within anyone's brain could that brain know that it needed to build or make a new structure to BE a specific idea, a specific representation of an aspect of external reality?

Remember, according to the atheist-materialist "brain-only" doctrine, the actual idea to be made present in the brain wouldn't be there before such a structure to be that idea was built in the brain.

2.  How would it know what the right structure to be the physical cause of that idea should be before the idea was there to inform the brain how to build it?

3.  How would  it know how to make the right structure to be that idea and not a structure that would be a different, or "wrong" idea that wouldn't fit reality before the idea was in the brain to inform that process? 

4.  Since "trial and error" was one of the atheist-materialist resorts, how could you account for the experience of virtual instantaneous creation of ideas within any given scheme?  

"Trial and error" takes time and it faces the problem that if the wrong structure had been built, it would be the only "thing" representing the idea to be made that would be there in the brain.  How would it know it had erred or performed its construction job correctly?  Resorting to trial and error doesn't move you one step closer to an explanation.

Any answer to these questions would have to account for the actual experience we have of coming up with ideas we'd never had before IN REAL TIME, NOT IN THE UNREAL TIME OF THEORETICAL MUSING AND ABSTRACT MODEL MAKING THAT DOESN'T TAKE THE TIME ELEMENT INTO ACCOUNT.   Atheists' claim that they hold their ideas up to the exigencies of empiricism makes their resort of conveniently leaving out the experience of the nearly instantaneous time it takes to think a new thought especially disqualifying. 

You can make the same temporal demand of the other atheist stand-by, the incantation of "DNA" like a magic charm.   All DNA does is create chains of amino acids - which takes longer than our nearly instantaneous experience of thought - and that's not to include the absolute necessary step of protein folding to turn the amino acid chain into a form that will be biologically active, something, itself, fraught with difficulties.  Even a relatively rapid process of that takes minutes instead of seconds and its known action can't be the result of trial and error as that process would take longer for any protein sequence than the expected age of the universe.

And any claim that "because DNA" (one of the few attempts at an answer during the entire year I made the challenge) would face the same problem posed in the questions, how would "DNA" know how to do any of those things before the idea was present in the brain to instruct it how to do it or even that it needed to do it.

Any proposed solution to this, it would seem, insoluble problem for the most common faith holding of atheists concerning our minds has to meet their own basic claim of high fidelity to our own experience of thinking.  And no atheist scheme for that, no scheme of neuro-science or cognitive-science can even answer the first of these questions, how, under the "brain-only" doctrine would the brain even know it needed to make such a structure before the idea, itself was present in the brain to inform it that it needed to make such a structure.

It is the conceit of atheist materialism going back to the beginning that it passes the test of empirical knowledge, that it is based only in what can be observed and experienced.   Well, the extravagant claims they make and have suckered most people with, especially those who have been educated in materialist dogma through a distortion of science DON'T PASS THAT TEST BECAUSE THEIR DOGMA DOESN'T ACCOUNT FOR OUR EXPERIENCE OF THOUGHT.  The very minds that are the way in which empirical knowledge is had can't be made to fit into their dogma.

In thinking about this, this morning, I have come to conclude that materialism and the atheism that it depends on, when looked at rigorously is like those old images of a snake eating its own tail.  As Rowan Williams and Marilynne Robinson discussed in that conversation I posted Tuesday noted, there has been a mighty effort on the part of the intelligentsia to debunk and demote human minds over the past centuries, though they didn't mention it specifically, all of that has been done in service to materialist, really atheist ideology. 

What becomes of the conceit of materialist-atheist-scientism, of its claimed fidelity to the principles of empiricism when the very organ of that act, the minds that are the basis of all our experience, all of our observation, the very stuff of empiricism, is debunked and debased in service to their goal of proving that God doesn't exist? 

Atheist-materialist scientism is the most decadent and degenerate of ideologies that debases its own foundational claims, its own version of virtue.  The political and other ideologies based in it have to share at least that aspect of their foundation.  There are further debasements and decadent feature that can be tacked on but I think it is that foundational decadence that makes it even easier for the moral depravity and decadence of so many of those epiphenoma of atheist-materialist-scientism to infect and rot those out.  I do think that Nazism and Marxism are the prime examples in real life of that phenomenon, "enlightenment" capitalism, as well.  It's a wonder that the champions of empiricism never seem to want to notice that. 

Image result for snake eating its own tail

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Arnold Schoenberg - Transfigured Night for String Sextet, Op. 4


Audrey Wright and Alexi Kenney, violins
Wenting Kang and Alice Weber, violas
Emileigh Vandiver and Andrew Larson, celli

It's Better To Get Your Second Choice In An Election Than Have Your Last Choice In Office For Years

Maine voters again supported ranked choice voting at the polls.  We had adopted it by popular vote in the 2016 election but Republicans and the Republican leaning Maine media has been trying to prevent it going into effect.  The Maine Supreme Court said that there would have to be a Constitutional Amendment before it could be used in general elections for some seats - we've got a stupidly written State Constitution - and Republicans have been frantically working to undo the clear will of the majority, the same way that they got Paul LePage in office, twice.  They passed a law delaying its implementation with an eye to defeating it.  But ranked-choice voting has survived a Maine Supreme Court challenge - with the condition about the friggin' state Constitution - and two election cycles in which Republicans and the political establishment lied about it. 
Every single person I know who supported ranked-choice voting in Maine included the installation of Paul LePage with 38% of the vote as governor as one of their reasons for supporting changing the winner takes all system in favor of ranked choice.  He was the clear last-choice of the majority of Maine Voters that someone like him could win shows that is a major defect of the current system.

We have had the clear last choice of a majority of the voters in office, to catastrophic results for the past eight years because the opposition couldn't agree on who their first choice was.  The system we've had has, on several occasions, given us really bad governors because of the divided opposition. I'd favored changing the law to make it harder for no-chance candidates to get on the ballot to prevent that but ranked-choice has a good chance of being a better way of preventing the last-choice of the majority becoming governor.  It took a Paul LePage to get people to make a real try at changing the system which puts people like him in office.

In the media coverage of the first time use of it, they're stressing that the results in the Democratic governors' race might take some time to find out as the votes for second and third choice have to be calculated.  They've largely opposed changing from the present system, probably because most of the Maine media favors Republicans and they always have.

The idea that it's better to have a putrid pre-Trumpian Trump like LePage in office for eight years so the media gets to announce the winner in hours is so stupid that the media should be ashamed of itself for pushing that line.

It was almost as stupid for the Maine Secretary of State, a Democrat, to complain that it would cost a little more to have a ranked-choice election.  Matt Dunlap made no secret of his opposition to ranked-choice and he gave several ridiculously inflated guesses as to how much it would cost.  That was a stupid claim because even his highest figure was pennies compared to the millions of dollars in Federal money that LePage cost the state for ideological and political reasons.   I certainly have a last choice for a Democratic Secretary of State now.

The media has the same fear as Republicans, that the majority of Maine voters will not go along with the lunatic, hater and crook wing of that party, the part of the Republican party that turns out for primaries and Republicans have a good chance of losing ranked-choice general elections.

Trump's Tongue Bath of Kim Jong Un Was A Result Of The UnAmerican Corruption The Republican Party Now Is

If the American People where not kept in abysmal ignorance of the world outside of the United States by the media and, in a very minor way, as a focus of the general education they might get in American schools, they would know what a catastrophic publicity stunt his past week has been for us and for the world.   Trump blowing up the Western Alliance on behalf of his patron, Vladimir Putin and his stream of businessman on the make honey given to Kim Jong Un as his family profits from emoluments granted by Kim's biggest prop, the Chinese oligarchs,  has been very good for two pretty awful dictatorships and a regime which is among if not the actual worst in the world should make any real American furious.  It is a complete betrayal of the supposed moral stands that the United States is based on, not to mention a complete and total moral atrocity by any legitimate standard.  

But the United States has that in common with North Korea, there is a virtual ban on accurate information on foreign affairs in the American media, I think there is a promotion of the general feeling that what happens in the world outside the United States is, somehow, unpatriotic or an unimportant eccentricity.  Some of that is the habit that comes with empire, lots of it is beneficial to some of our worse parts of the ruling class, our own oligarchs, certainly, their servants in office and their flacks in the media, as well. 

Trump has proven in the past week that he is the servant of Putin, definitely and whoever will enrich his family.  The Saudis the United Arab Emirates  certainly have benefited from that base corruption and, among others, Qatar has suffered under that corruption by Trump's extended family.  His comment about hotel opportunities available to Kim Jong Un was the poison cherry on the top of this past week's sales job.  Anyone who didn't think Trump's imagined hotels in his mind had his name in gold-leaf on top of them is too stupid to care about.  

The past week, especially the tongue bath that Trump gave the North Korean dictator and his obviously off the cuff gift to him of announcing the cancellation of joint military exercises with South Korea have made one thing certain, all of the alleged serious adults of the Republican Party have thrown aside all of their previous principles as their president does things that they would have made major campaign issues against any Democrat who had done any one of dozens of things they endorse when this Republican baby-man president does worse.  

This is the corruption of the Republican Party and the media that has supported them for decades, the same media that created Trump, the same media that spent a quarter of a century demonizing Hillary Clinton.   The same media that has kept the American People in the dark about the rest of the world to the extent that a large number of them, especially Republicans, are totally ignorant as to why what Trump did is a total disaster for the world and the United States.    

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rowan Williams & Marilynne Robinson | 2018 Theology Conference | 4/6/2018


It would be hard to pick out which things were said that are worth commenting on because there are so many.

You can compare the very quality of the discussion with the pseudo-intellectualism that reigns in secularism.   I'm tempted to post a Q&A with Jordan Peterson to show how really phony that is but I'll lead with the best. 

I'm busy, it's election day here, so I'll be away for most of the day.